Mayor chairs meeting on Cost of Living Crisis
25 October 2022
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Sandra Duffy chaired the first of a series of round table discussions with community and voluntary sector representatives this week to get an understanding of the level of support that is currently available to assist local citizens across the Council area who are struggling with the cost of living crisis.
The meeting, led by the Mayor, and attended by Council officials, representatives from the local growth partnerships, as well as social supermarkets, food banks and advice centres, provided valuable insight into the daily challenges faced by the sector as they work to provide support and services at this difficult time.
The meeting is one in a series of meetings which the Mayor intends to host with the purpose of identifying what services are available across the community, voluntary, public and private sectors how information is communicated and shared to those most in need and what additional steps can be taken to address any gaps identified.
Mayor Duffy speaking after the meeting, extended her thanks for those who attended and acknowledged the huge level of commitment and hard work being done on the ground across communities in Derry and Strabane to provide support to families and individuals in need of financial support at this difficult time.
She said: “I was very heartened to hear at first-hand about the excellent work that is being done by our community and voluntary sector right across Derry and Strabane to offer a range of services to those in need. There was such a strong sense of partnership working and groups communicating with each other to ensure as much support is delivered as possible.
“ It is very obvious from those conversations that there is a real need out there and we have many people who are really struggling to pay their bills, put food on their table and keep them and their families warm. Those attending the meeting told us about the work they are doing with very limited resources to provide warm spaces/lounges, hot meals and food banks in an effort to help those in need.
“Whilst these services are being provided it is very clear that many of those working in the community and voluntary sector are under resourced and are facing a number of challenges to provide these essential services. There is a massive effort given by local people who volunteer to make all these services function and our rural communities have some additional challenges in terms of access to services. I hope that these meetings will be a forum, not only where we can share information and learn from one another, but also come up with solutions and actions that will help plan a way forward as we head into the winter months. “
Further meetings are to be scheduled over the coming week to include representatives from statutory agencies and charities and relevant groups.
“We hope that with continued collaboration we can set out a list of actions that will allow us to plan what additional support is needed going forward,” Mayor Duffy concluded.